TRAIL RATING GUIDE
A Note About the Dolomites Trek Rating System
Europeans use a different rating system than in the US and because the guide is from Germany, I am using the rating descriptions they would use. The Technical Route Categories used for each hike (refer to the downloadable detailed itinerary), which have been simplified from a more detailed scale, are combinations of the letters “B” and “R” and indicate the level of technical difficulty not the vertical ascent or miles hiked each day. A hike could be 8-10 miles and 3500 feet of elevation but if it didn’t involve cables, ladders, cliffs or rock climbing it would be considered “Easy”, whereas, a hike with that distance and vertical ascent would be rated difficult in the US.
In the US there is a route classification system, known as the Yosemite Decimal System (YDS), but generally, hikers aren’t aware of it because it is a scale used mostly by climbers. Guidebooks and apps like AllTrails would not include hikes with a Route Classification of 3 or above. Not true for Germany. The hike or trek would be rated moderate or difficult depending on technical skills required. Only very experienced climbers would attempt a “Difficult” technical trek, it would not be suitable for hikers no matter the level of physical conditioning. The physical conditioning required by a hike is indicated separately from the technical level of the hike.
The Dolomites Trek, by US standards, is considered moderately strenuous to strenuous, with respect to fitness level, and "Easy" with respect to technical level. Comparable hikes in the US , for example, Grays and Torrey’s Peak in CO (7.8 miles and 3582 ft), Four Mile Trail in Yosemite (7.5 miles and 3277 ft), and Mount Dana Peak on the Eastern side of Yosemite which starts at 9700 feet and climbs to 13,250 feet (7.0 miles and 3103 ft, classed at 1 - 2 by YDS) are rated as “Difficult” on AllTrails and would be rated "Moderate" by German standards for fitness level and "Easy" with respect to technical level because there are no cables, ladders, or narrow trails with steep drop offs. The Dolomites Trek would be rated, most likely, Class 2 on the YDS scale. The Dolomites Trek requires good physical condition and fitness level, and mountain experience. If you hike regularly you can do this hike.
The Alpentraversale Trek is considered strenuous with respect to fitness level and moderate with respect to required technical skills. Formal technical climbing skills are not required but hikers should be sure-footed and have a head for heights. Hikers should be experienced with varied mountain trails, scrambling over boulders, hiking on steep inclines or declines, and narrow trails. The Alpentraversale Trek also requires good physical condition and above average fitness level. If you hike regularly and are not afraid of heights, or narrow trails, you can do this hike.
For more information on the YDS system go to: https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/climbing-bouldering-rating.html